I often ask my students in class to “lay it all out on the mat.” Whatever is spinning round the physical or energetic body, bring it, let it slide off the skin, flow IN it, and then work towards the release. Pretty good advice eh? *pat on the back*
In all seriousness though i’ve been bringing up more and more of this lately, and yesterday I realized why. Shoooo here we go.
i’m am neither perfect, nor perfectly balanced. I get overly exuberant, ignore my own physical and energetic bodies requests and needs, and take life a little too gung-ho at times. So when I walked in to assist MY teacher yesterday the look on her face and the gentle pat on the hand said it all. “News flash Jennifer, you’re taking it too fast, and to far… AGAIN. Reign it in sister.” Wisdom’s little smack in the face, or as my teacher so sweetly called it a “love tap.”
Sometimes it takes that love tap to realize when things are getting a little too imbalanced. To much Sthira not enough Sukha…exuberance verging on the edge of himsa. Breathe sister, come back to your 8 limbs, find your damn center.
In this sutra, Patanjali explains that every yoga posture needs to be balanced with qualities of Sthira (steady, stable, steadfast) and qualities of Sukham(ease, delight, joy).
It is by practicing both of these extremes, between effort and ease that we find balance in the middle. By performing our yoga postures with qualities of Sthira and Sukha, we find ourselves ‘vibrating’ in the center, in our heart! Patanjali says that the combination of Sthira and Sukham creates a state of equilibrium (satva) that is without agitation (rajas) or inertia (tamas).
Think of Tadasana (Mountain Pose). While there is a grounding and strong presence in this posture there is also a sense of lightness and ease that allows us to feel 10 feet tall and open to the possibility of the breath. This is the balance. There are some yogis that practice this pose only for their entire lives in order to reach that inexplicable place of light and dark, soft and steady that opens the body-mind connection to the divine. Take that and chew on it.
And yes…I’m not exactly in a place of that balance. But I didn’t really face it until the mirror was placed in front of me. Thanks Teach.
So today I started with a grounding practice, slow movement, meditation and deep breath work to sooth the Autonomic Nervous system. Tomorrow we’ll see what I need. Heck tonight, in an hour, in 5 breaths i’ll re-evaluate. Constantly cultivating balance, especially when I hate the idea of slowing down.
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